Monday, March 12, 2007

The Temple Mount

artist's rendition of the underground chambers of the Temple Mount

One of the most famous and disputed places in the world: the Temple Mount. The current platform of the Temple Mount, on which the Dome of the Rock is located, and Al Aqsa mosque, is a physical manifestation of the manner in which Islam, Christianity, and Judaism built upon one another over time.

Mohammed's night journey

Indeed, the site is sacred to Muslims not only because of Mohammed's night journey, but because the site was holy to Christians and Jews. Jesus, David, and Solomon are all considered prophets in Islam; moreover, the site was one of the first places where the "people of the book" began to worship one god.

1 comment:

toddy said...

In 1995 I had the ridiculous opportunity to take part in the archaeological dig beneath the temple mount. I got to get down under the current stonework right next to the wailing wall into a small passage where I had to bend down on my hands and knees and shimmy around to brush away dust and collect shards of pottery and stone. I was actually shimmying on pre-destruction road work. The actual paving stones on which Jesus and the apostles walked.
Later on, that very dig site became a flash point for Islamic militant anger.
It was a crazy opportunity.
I also got to enter the dome and the Al Aqsa Mosque at a time when they were still letting nonbelievers in there, a practice I think has been banned since.
That too was a crazy experience.
Henry Miller wrote in the Colossus of Marousai that the rocks of the Aegean feel as though they are soaked in the very blood of history.
I think the same may apply to Israel in spades.